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Publisher's Summary

The British Empire was the largest in all history: the nearest thing to global domination ever achieved. The world we know today is in large measure the product of Britain's age of empire. The global spread of capitalism, telecommunications, the English language, and the institutions of representative government - all these can be traced back to the extraordinary expansion of Britain's economy, population, and culture from the 17th century until the mid-20th.

On a vast and vividly colored canvas, Empire shows how the British Empire acted as midwife to modernity. Displaying the originality and rigor that have made him the brightest light among British historians, Ferguson shows that far from being a subject for nostalgia, the story of the Empire is pregnant with lessons for the world today - in particular for the United States as it stands on the brink of a new kind of imperial power. A dazzling tour de force, Empire is a remarkable reappraisal of the prizes and pitfalls of global empire.

©2012 AudioGO (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Not Balanced till Conclusion

The book goes over all the faults of the empire in today's terms, Britain did do wrong. The problem with the book it isn't until the conclusion he points out the many benefits brought to the colonies, trial by jurists, property rights, parliamentary systems.

The fact that democracy and free speech were sufficiently advanced in the 19th century Britain that abuses could be rectified by parliamentary representation by the people could happen, shows how far advanced the UK culture was compared to the rest of the world. When we consider that the most populous country in the world today has banned free speech, Europe's largest country routinely authorizes state murders across the globe, imprisons and murders it's citizens that Britain was so far ahead of its world rivals in then and now is hard to take in.

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The rise and the fall of the British Empire

There are many misconceptions about the impact of the British Empire in the whole planet earth. Probably the main one is that the British empire simply exploited countries that today are struggling. On the other hand, the British Empire wasn't a charitable enterprise, as many depict.
With this book, Niall Ferguson counters those superficial statements by bringing to surface the facts and people who shaped the history of the British Empire, and the lessons we can learn from it. All this supported by data and historical documents that Ferguson assembles in a catching and entairtaining fashion.
What I would suggest to improve is the narration, the reader did an excellent job, however (and it's probably just me), in some points it's difficult to understand what he says, and not even rewinding several times helps.

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Powerful insight of history we need to know.

This book is as powerful as Howard Zinn's "The people's history".... it ought to be a must read for every citizen in any democracy.